On unfriending, living freely, and ghosts from the past

Somebody that I used to know recently unfriended me on Facebook. And Twitter. And Instagram. Oh, and blocked me.

Her reasoning was that she felt like she didn’t know who I was anymore and no longer recognized me in posts I have made. Fair enough. I could agree (to a certain extent). I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve gotten a bit of a reputation in recent days for not shying away from talking … Read the rest

ONE: A Letter To My Son On His First Birthday

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Today you are one, my sweet little mockingbird, and I can scarcely believe it. I went through photos this morning from your first week with us on earth, and my eyes got wet as I marveled at how small and squishy you once were.

Right now, I’m watching you crawl around the living room, tearing things up at a turbo-speed, stopping along the way to pick up this toy or that book or see … Read the rest

So, A Pentecostal and A Presbyterian Walk Into A Bar…

Alternative title: So, I Have Some Thoughts About Church.
Or: It’s Good to Reflect On Our Faith.
Or: I Think Sarah Bessey Might Have Written a Book Just For Me.

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When I was six years old, I found God. Or rather, God found me.

I grew up Catholic, not in practice, necessarily, but definitely in name. The daughter of two immigrants, I was enrolled in Catholic school because religion was a tie to the … Read the rest

The post about *THE BIG SECRET*

I finally get to share my secret with you!!!! 
* excessive use of exclamation points due to a) giddy excitement and b) being up since 3:30 with my little which means c) alllll the coffee this morning
Are you ready?!?

On Monday, I got an email from the Editorial Manager at Mops International letting me know an article of mine has been selected to be published on their blog for their current theme, CHANGE.

I … Read the rest

Sometimes I think it hurts to remind you that it happened

My mother’s father was a short, stubborn Scotsman with eyes so icy-blue they’d make you think of glaciers, or perhaps maybe the moon. His name was James. To most, he was Jimmy. To me, he was Papa.

Whenever I reflect on my childhood–long, harrowing years of growing up in chaos, the daughter of two addicts–Papa is the only constant I can remember. He picked me up from school when my parents were late. … Read the rest

Inhabiting the heaviness

Once upon a time, I lived in Liberia. For almost five years, actually. It was one of the hardest seasons of my life, but I kept going back, kept choosing to say yes. I felt a burden: for the country, for its beautiful people, for the incredible kids I got to work with, many of whom became daughters and sons of my heart. And then one day, I left. In part because the burden became … Read the rest

Lost and found

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I first wrote this post back in 2013 and have updated it over the years. There are so many women whose stories I am drawn to in the scriptures, but one I continually find my way back to is that of Ruth. I hope as you read these words and explore her story, you will find hope, as I have. What has been lost will be found. I know some of us may not believe … Read the rest

Mental illness and the God with skin on

I remember the night I realized something was wrong.

The house was quiet, both my husband and my son sleeping deeply. It was about 4:30 am, and I was shaking in bed, crying hysterically into my pillow. I’d been tossing and turning for almost six hours and hadn’t been able to sleep because I couldn’t turn my brain off, even though I was thoroughly, way-down-in-my-bones exhausted. I woke my husband up, and he simply … Read the rest

Shame, seatbelts, and shrinking women

The sun was just starting to rise as I walked down a narrow runway to board my first flight. My eyes were bleary from too little sleep and not enough caffeine, a combination of my seven-month-old having woken up at 2:30 in the morning and needing to leave for the airport by 4. In the weak morning light, I swung my green carry-on bag over my shoulder and made my way towards the plane headed … Read the rest

one word 2016:: grow.


in lieu of new year’s resolutions (and to show support and solidarity with the #oneword365 movement), i’ve spent the last several januarys of my life carefully choosing a word that i hope will shape the coming year. this is perfect for me for a couple different reasons:

a) it doesn’t lock me into anything. selecting a word over a resolution is open-ended. it leaves room for mistakes and loose ends, and it allows the … Read the rest